13 Jun 2013

Subject 13 #23 - Commentary

As always, please read the issue before continuing.

Oh, the fun of an assumed name.  Nasty should have thought through the implications of being a "Jessica", including nicknames.  Being someone else takes effort; old habits, like responding to one's proper name, are ingrained and learning to respond to the new name takes time before it's natural.  Given that it's her first day at Fieldson, and she's coming in at a later grade than the other girls, Nasty has good reason to not be ready to have a nickname bestowed upon her.  Jane (Rusty) and Mary-Elizabeth (Stormie) received theirs as freshmen.

Nasty completely misread Ms Landry's attention.  Landry wasn't expecting one of her girls to be as proficient in a kitchen as Nasty; the typical Fieldson girl doesn't make dinner regularly.  Nasty, though, does; sometimes Maria doesn't get home until late, sometimes she doesn't have the energy from working, sometimes Nasty just gets annoyed and decides to do things on her own.

A little more background on Nasty's home life slipped through.  Nasty doesn't know who her father is.  Back in Issue 13, the Consortium's file on Nasty had her father listed as unknown.  It's a bit of a sore spot for Nasty, more for the feeling of embarrassment when the question comes up than for anything else.  She has seen "normal" families, though her best friend Renata has gone through a few parental divorces and can relate.*  Maria has never been married, but doesn't go long without male companionship.  Nasty has issues.

But, Nasty has great news for Anne.  Those twin girls she hated right away are the Pyro Twins!  Oops, can't act without proof.  The police need more to work on than, "Peregrine hates them."  Hey, Nasty's first undercover mission.  She's still learning the ropes.  And part of the ropes is having a place to live.under her assumed name.  A nice posh apartment, where Jessica live with her non-existent parents.  A place of Nasty's own, just like she mentioned to Rennie back in Issue 6.  You'd think I'd planned that.

Nasty also finally gets to ditch her hated uniform and dress in a comfortable pair of jeans.  The pictures below should help with what Nasty is going through.

Nasty's skirt, the reality

First, you can now see why Subject 13 is written.  Second, while the skirt is short, it still falls mid-thigh.  While it does show off Nasty's legs, the skirt is not revealing.  Nasty just needs to learn how to sit like a proper lady, which is the school's intent.  Jessica should know; Nasty, however, is far more tomboyish than her new identity.  Which reminds me, at some point, I'll need to have Nasty willingly wearing a skirt, more to show that it's the uniform she's uncomfortable with, not the skirt itself.

Nasty's skirt, her perception.

And here's what Nasty thinks she's wearing.  Again, art by me, showing why I write.  I've established in several issues that Nasty has body image issues and doesn't like being the centre of attention because of her looks.  Her feeling is that the skirt is too revealing, especially her butt.  Nasty's preferred clothing is a comfortable t-shirt or sweater with a pair of jeans.  If she wears a skirt, the hemline is at least at her knees.

Finally, a switch back to the Consortium team, the same three people mentioned back in the commentary for Issue 18.  The Subjects sent have some personality conflicts, which was already set up previously.  Subject 12 (John) makes it clear of his opinion of women.  Subject 5 (LaShawna) disagrees with the attitude.  Not helping are the Pyro Twins, who, of course, the Consortium already has files for.  Not necessarily subjects; Cinder and Ember are too unpredictable to bother recruiting.

Tomorrow, Nasty deals with teachers and gets closer to the twins.
Saturday, over at Fan To Pro MuseHack, the Addams Family.
Did you know Fan To Pro evolved?  Check out why!
Coming soon, Traveller fun, NaNo 2013 prep work, and thoughts on character creation.

* Since it won't likely come up, Rennie's mother has remarried twice while her father has remarried once.


  1. I like this commentary much better than the last! Feels more behind the scenes, less restating the scenes.
    "Nasty completely misread Ms Landry's attention": Actually, I felt like Nasty was just WAY off on the moon here. Because 1) Anne isn't really her mom, it doesn't seem like teacher talk jeopardizes the mission, so why the concern, esp when they're alone; 2) She already has it in her head that she's leaving at the end of the week, so she's mission-centred, thus again why the concern over something that has no impact in seven days; 3) If a teacher says "I was IMPRESSED", even IF you've screwed up everything previous to that, what in the tone would make her think impressively BAD? Persecution complex of self?

    I didn't expect the home ec reasoning though, that makes perfect sense in retrospect and adds to the scene, well done. The father thing is also a bit of a bombshell - I wonder, why does their cover story involve a father? Seems like it would make more sense to say there's a separation, or at least that he's always away on business. A sore point like that could cause problems.

    Very clever deke back to #6. DID you plan it, or did it just seem like a great idea, so you decided to write it in? The drawing isn't that terrible. It comes with time. And yeah, it was coming across a bit as the skirt (she even feels she needs to wear her jacket when at home??), so probably a good idea to show she likes them when they're longer.

    And hey, return of the "main" villains! Was glad to see that they were smart enough to check compatibility with Peregrine, given the robbery so close to where the minivan was. Of course, now that Nasty's out and about again at school, there's a greater chance that they'll stumble on her. (Also a greater chance that the Foundation can't call on Peregrine for more routine stuff, what will the press say when he's all "I have a sidekick!" and then they hardly see her for a week? Hmm.)

    1. Some of the issues really didn't have much backstory to them. ^_^;; With this feedback, the future commentaries for Lethal Ladies should be far better. :)

      Nasty's self esteem is a little battered. She's not used to being complimented; she had similar thoughts back at Seward in the early issues. So, getting positive feedback weirds her out, even on a mission.

      I worked out the mother-daughter relationship a bit more once I separated them. Nasty learned to cook out of necessity as a teen because of Maria's schedules. The father thing is indeed a bombshell, something Nasty doesn't talk about. Part of it is Maria being a single mother from child birth still has a stigma. The other part is that most people assume that everyone knows both parents, even if they split up for whatever reason. Anne made the assumption that Nasty knew both her parents. A later issue shows a solution.

      I didn't plan the call back to #6, but noticed what was happening when I posted here. It makes sense, though. Nasty wanted to be on her own; she's not getting her wish and finding out that it's not everything she thought it would be. I'm slowly improving; fortunately, I didn't need to aim for consistency. Thanks, though. The skirt is also representing her discomfort in the school; she doesn't quite fit in. (At home, she changes, and will be seen in a future Issue.)

      I couldn't keep them out for long. The news of a new Peregrine gave me an opportunity to add them back in. The lack of Peregrine on the streets isn't a big deal; Eagle himself is rarely on the streets.